Frequently Asked Questions
What is Wayfarers Faith Collective all about?
Who is Wayfarers Faith Collective for?
It’s for anyone seeking practical and spiritual meaning out this life but may not be interested in looking to doctrine, dogma and the institutional church to find it. It’s also for those who choose to use their God-given brain for thinking and reasoning as a complement to the heart, rather than blindly accepting what convention or tradition tells us to believe. Our conviction is that if faith does not question, learn and deepen its understanding, it eventually becomes stagnant.
In all that we do, we don’t exclude anyone based on race, gender, sexual orientation, political views, religious views, social or economic status. As long as you treat others with grace and respect, you are welcome!
Are you Christian?
The starting point for our faith is recognizing and experiencing what’s Sacred in life. This approach aligns with the Judeo-Christian tradition and understanding of God. It does not preclude, however, that this God or Higher Power may mystically be the Intelligent Design embedded in some scientific views of the universe or even the same God recognized (although differently viewed) in Islam, Native American Spirituality or certain other religions. For more, see the What We Believe page.
What if I don‘t believe there’s a God?
We all have questions, including about the existence and nature of God or a Higher Power. No question is off limits at our gatherings, including questions about anything we say we believe or think we believe. We’re of the mindset that better questions either challenge, change or deepen our understanding of faith and life. We think that’s a good thing.
What model of gathering together do you follow?
Those who are part of Wayfarers Faith Collective gather in groups of 8-12 people called “Dinner Gatherings.” These gatherings take place about once a month in welcoming homes throughout the Greater Milwaukee area. Larger gatherings, called “Collective Gatherings,” occur several times a year as a way to bring all the Dinner Gatherings together as one. They are also open to the public, so anyone interested in the practical, social and spiritual content these gatherings have to offer is welcome to join us. See Dinner Gatherings and Collective Gatherings for more.
Are children a part of these gatherings?
The members of each individual “Dinner Gathering” (as a group) shape their time together and decide whether to include children or not. Children are welcome at the “Collective Gatherings” (efforts are made to include activities for them or include them in other ways) with the understanding that alcohol is often served and children must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian.
What does it mean to be a "Wayfarer" or a "Faith Collective?"
Having “faith” is essentially having a conviction that something or even someone embodies that which we recognize as, “truth.” It’s easy to find yourself rudderless in life if you have absolutely no strongly held convictions. In this particular context of faith, a “collective” is then a group of people joined TOGETHER by common ideals or convictions that we believe point to truth in this life.
We are, however, also “wayfarers,” wandering aimfully and wondering always about the big questions of life. That means we understand that faith is not the same as knowledge and cannot be satisfied by following strict doctrine or dogma. We find our strength by pursuing better questions and honing our convictions as a “collective”…TOGETHER! In this way we’re able to more fully embrace life’s joys and wonders while reaping the benefits of community support or solidarity through times of struggle and uncertainty.
Wait a minute, is Wayfarers Faith Collective, "church?"
We (and frankly many others) wouldn’t consider or define Wayfarers Faith Collective to be “church” in the way that most would understand it today. That’s why we don’t use the word to describe who we are and what we do. Yet, what we do when we gather together is a meaningful, sacred experience just as valid to our sense of faith as any other gathering that might be designated, “church.” We just do it quite differently.
So, you gather in homes or in a bar/brewery and even drink beer and wine?
Yes, yes we do. Food and drink is almost always a meaningful social/spiritual part of any gathering we have. Alcohol, though, is not the focus, and plenty of non-alcoholic drinks are always available. The point is gathering together around a table in a way that blurs the lines between faith and life rather than disconnecting faith as “church” and life as everything else. Under no circumstances, however, is drunkenness tolerated. Anyone who does not drink responsibly will immediately be given a ride home.
Can I openly ask difficult questions and maybe even disagree at these gatherings?
YES!…and you’re encouraged to do so with grace and respect.
What is a "Sacrament?"
We are informed by a faith tradition that believes a sacrament is an act both mandated by Jesus of Nazareth in his teachings and that embodies a physical, visibly symbolic sign to bring it deeper meaning. There are two such sacraments we recognize. They are “Baptism” with water and “Holy Communion” (which we call a “Meal of Remembrance”) with bread and wine.
Is what you do when you gather considered "Sacramental?"
One thing that both religious and secular history ought to be able to agree on is that Jesus of Nazareth was at the very least a great teacher. Islam and the Koran also recognize him as an esteemed prophet. As an important figure in history, he was ultimately put to death for how he lived and what he taught as he stood up to the religious and secular forces of that age.
Part of what he taught was to “baptize” those who embrace his teachings as a recognizable sign of the new life, empowerment and togetherness those very teachings bring us, especially as a “collective” sharing a common path on life’s journey.
He also taught to collectively come together in a “Meal of Remembrance” so that we might honor the sacrifice it took (and still takes) to speak truth to power. It’s a practice that empowers us toward liberation from anything and anyone that seeks to deceive or oppress us in this life. Ultimately, it’s a communal meal that exemplifies the oneness we believe we’re created to share as a human family. It serves to help focus us on a common purpose in life (the experience of “Unconditional Love” in its many forms), above and beyond our differences.
So, yes, we embrace these sacramental ideologies when we gather while also acknowledging that each Dinner Gathering will shape its own unique, collective approach for walking together in faith. We also embrace other wisdom teachings and spiritual practices people may bring to the table that can point us to similar truths along this journey of life.
Are participants expected to give?
No one is required to give to Wayfarers. Wayfarers Faith Collective drastically reduces our reliance on monetary giving by owning no property nor a building, thereby forgoing the expenses that accompany those investments. Leadership salaries are also kept to a minimum by relying on leaders to have additional sources of income outside Wayfarers.
Still, anything that requires time, energy, booking, resources, etc. has financial ramifications. Those that can/want to give as they are able ought to know that their contributions will be received with humble thanks and appreciation.
“The ways in which we… individually approach this infinite God or ‘Higher Power’ (bound and limited by our human constructs of words & concepts) is part of our ongoing journey of faith.”
Wayfarers Faith Collective
1212 S. Layton Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53215
(414) 460-9248 | Email
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